Deck cargoes. Many cargoes can be carried on deck because of their size or weight of individual units. Ondeck cargo is prone to damage and/or loss overboard and the carrier should try to reduce his liability accordingly.

Documentary fraud. This occurs when a commercial party negotiates with a person who turns out to be dishonest and a cheat. A documentary credit may pay for the commercial transaction, for example, where an honest buyer opens a letter of credit based on negotiations between himself and a cheat. The cheat presents forged documents to the advising bank and is paid. The bill of lading features very prominently in documentary fraud because of its very great importance as a document of title. Because of this potential, alternative systems are being developed, such as the use of "sea waybills" and "EDI" or "Electronic Data Interchange" where data about the goods and the mode of their transport are exchanged by electronic means.


Days. When a charterparty provides for laytime to be fixed or calculable this can be referred to a number of "days". The number of days is sometimes called "laydays" but this term is better used for the "Laydays and Cancelling" clause.

Dunnage. Materials such as timber battens, boards, mats, plastic sheets, paper and even inflatable bags may be necessary to prevent cargo from shifting, to prevent sweat damage to the cargo and to separate different lots of cargo.

Date line. When steaming from West to East time is lost for each time zone. Conversely, when proceeding from East to West time is gained.

Double bottom. The double bottom, extending from the forepeak to afterpeak tank, considerably increases the safety of the vessel in case of serious bottom damage by grounding, which might otherwise result in flooding of the cargo holds or engine room. Moreover, the double bottom, which is subdivided into a number of tanks, is suitable for carriage of water ballast, fuel oil, fresh water etc., and increases the longitudinal strength of the vessel.

The double bottom tanks are accessible from the ship’s holds or tunnel by means of manholes, which are closed by watertight covers with bolts.


Deeptanks. In order to increase the water ballast capacity; many older, multi-deck cargo ships are equipped with deeptanks running from the tank top of the double bottom to the lower or upper tweendeck and extending over the entire breadth. As a rule the deeptanks were constructed amidships forward of the engine room or at both ends. The reason for this was to provide capacity for water ballast, thus improving the draught but with hardly any change in trim.

Dreadage or Dreading clause. Grain is usually carried in. bulk or in bags. In a charterparty for grain cargo, a clause can give the charterer the option to ship general cargo with certain restrictions, such as a minimum quantity, and exclusion of cargoes that may cause damage to any grain loaded.

Deductibles. Whilst there is no provision in the standard cargo clauses to apply any form of deductible, there is always a deductible expressed in a hull policy on full conditions.

Deadweight charters. Bulk carriers are sometimes fixed on the basis of a guaranteed deadweight capacity of cargo at certain lumpsum freight. This method of chartering is followed in trades where charterers wish to have freedom of action as to the type of grain they intend to ship, either heavy grain, light grain or a combination of both kinds.

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